American Offers Double Elite Qualifying Miles Through January 31!

Remember when I said that American’s bankruptcy would mean lots of additional generosity for frequent flyers, in order to encourage them to fly the airline?

Here’s the first volley, registration required, American is offering double elite qualifying miles (to qualify for 2012 status) through December 31 and also (to get an early start on 2013 status) through January 31.

Put a different way, the promotion starts today. It applies to tickets previously purchased as well as to new purchases. And it runs straight through to the end of January. Of course all flying by the end of December counts towards next year’s status, and all flying in January counts towards status the following year.

I’m participating in the elite status challenge for the Oneworld MegaDO already, which means I have to fly 20,000 American Airlines miles by January 13. Now I jsut need to push as much of that as possible into January and along with the status miles for the charter (which I’m guessing will not count, but remains to be seen as it’s not a published fare) I can be well on my way to requalifying for the status that I’ll be earning via challenge. Thanks, AA!!

Now, I have to think that United will match. They’ve historically been driven by the sorts of decisions that American makes in this arena. It could be a different world now, but the two airlines share hubs in Chicago, they both have substantial presences in Los Angeles, and now that United and Continental are one their overlap is truly significant in the New York market as well. United really can’t walk away from the incremental elite business that American will be trying to stimulate.

On the other hand it’s hard to imagine Delta matching, given that they offer ‘rollover’ miles already. Or if they do, they’ll match only on nearly full fare tickets to limit the effect of the promotion.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. @Nick I haven’t made any decisions yet — but I figure if I’ve got an easy way to Executive Platinum, and now a head start at requalifying, I might as well pick up on that. 🙂 Seriously considering it though since (1) At American Executive Platinum really is top tier, whereas at United 1K is not, and (2) United’s making changes to their upgrade priority that devalue status.

  2. why would united match such a silly promo? 2 months over xmas holidays is not going to stimulate any business travel. most businesses shut down (figuratively not literally) over the last 2 weeks of the year. yes they matched many promos in the past but note the ORD-West Coast promo was only matched for a short time frame and more limited fare basis. i don’t think UA fears AA anymore. no, this is meant to stimulate holiday bookings on AA which may be down due to fears of the bankruptcy.

  3. Gary,

    For the match does double EQM count? Is it only 20K including the bonus meaning 4 roundtrips JFK-LAX for Exec Platinum or with the charter only 2 trips?

  4. It maybe true that UA/CO is not afraid of AA, but given what they are doing over at CO I am switching my travel to AA esp with Biz extra my employees are gonna be traveling AA more too!

  5. This may make me finally leave Delta. I have two flights booked on AA in the next few weeks because I wanted to rollover 24,9XX MQMs on Delta. My fear of leaving was starting from scratch at a new airline. This cuts that down by half. Might be just the push I needed.

    I guess I need to go to FT and find a really long mileage run out of MIA in early January to try and get close to Platinum in one or two trips.

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